What Smell Do Dogs Hate? We Have the Answers

Dogs are known for their powerful sense of smell. The smell of food will always attract them, but what smells do dogs hate?

There are quite a few items in your household that repel dogs,from citrus to vinegar. Dogs might even hate your perfume. If your dog has a  sensitive nose, you may want to avoid these scents altogether—or if you want to keep it off some areas in you house, it can be an effective repellent.

What Smell Do Dogs Hate

Dogs have a keen sense of smell, and there are certain scents that they simply cannot stand. So, what smell repels dogs? Here are some of the most common:

1. Vinegar

what smells do dogs hate - vinegar

This ingredient is used in many households as a cleaning product, and dogs can smell it from miles away. If you can ignore the smell yourself, vinegar can be mixed with water and sprayed in areas where your furry friend tends to relieve themselves. Never spray it directly on your dog.

Trying to potty train your puppy? Read this comprehensive guide for some tips.

2. Citrus

what smells do dogs hate - vinegar

This scent is pleasant for us, so we buy products like essential oils, air fresheners, and candles with citrus scents. Even fruits like orange, lemon, and grapefruit might cause a problem for your furry little friend.

Like with vinegar, you can mix citrus oil with water and spray it in areas you don’t want your dog to go. It would also freshen up the room for you, win-win.

3. Fresh herbs

what smells do dogs hate - fresh herbs

Freshly planted and harvested basil, mint, rosemary, and thyme all have intense aromas that make them perfect additions to gardens you want to keep dogs out of. The high concentration of volatile fragrant oils in these plants gives them their dog-repelling effects.

4. Alcohol

what smells do dogs hate - alcohol

Alcohol’s effect on dogs depends on its concentration. The stronger the fragrance, the higher the alcohol concentration. You must be careful when using this chemical around animals.

Never spray your dog with it. If your dog gets injured, it’s best to clean the wound with clean water first. Don’t forget that alcohol is flammable, so keep it in a safe place where there are no fires around.

5. Ground spices and chili pepper

what smells do dogs hate - Ground spices and chili pepper

Dogs hate these two spices with passion. All you need to do is sprinkle some spices around the places you want them to avoid, and they will stay away.

You can also mix spice in water and use it as a spray onto certain areas, but make sure to avoid spraying your pup directly in the face with it because it can irritate them.

6. Mothballs

what smells do dogs hate - mothballs

Mothballs are commonly used to keep moths away from clothes and store food. If you use mothballs to keep your dog away from somewhere, place them in a ventilated room so that the fumes don’t build up and cause health problems for you, your dog, or your family.

7. Cleaning products

what smells do dogs hate - cleaning products

Having such a strong sense of smell, dogs can catch even the weakest scent of cleaning products (especially those with chlorine and ammonia). So, if you want to use these products around your home, make sure to do so in a well-ventilated area. Keep your furry friend away (or outside) from the area until the fumes have aired out.

8. Perfumes and colognes

what smells do dogs hate - Perfumes and colognes

We all love to smell good, but dogs hate the strong scents of perfumes and colognes. If you like to wear these products, try to keep it subtle for the sake of all the cuddles you can miss out on with your furry friend.

Do you want to find out what causes a dog to reverse sneeze? Click on this informative blog post to find out!

9. Nail polish and hairspray

what smells do dogs hate - Nail polish and hairspray

These products tend to have a strong scent for us humans, so imagine how intense they must be for dogs. If you must use them, make sure to do it away from your furry friend and in a well-ventilated area.

10. Garlic and onions

what smells do dogs hate - garlic and onion

These two ingredients are commonly used in cooking but can also be used to keep dogs away. Both garlic and onions contain sulfur, which gives off a strong odor that dogs aren’t fans of.

Those are among the main household smells dogs don’t like. You can also use to keep your dogs away from certain areas of your home. However, you must be careful when using them because some of them can be harmful to dogs if inhaled or ingested. Consult your veterinarian before using these products around your dog.

Read an informative piece by a vet: Why Is My Dog’s Nose Dry?

What Smell Do Dogs Hate to Pee On

Using vinegar in your garden will harm the plants if done directly. To use it properly, dilute the vinegar in a spray bottle and only use it when necessary.

Citronella oil is thicker than many other oils, so you won’t need to reapply as often. Always mix citronella with water before spraying onto your plants—use a spray bottle for the best results. Be careful not to over-apply; puddles of diluted solution can be harmful if ingested by your dog.

Citrus fruit peels, on the other hand, can’t harm your plants. Many gardeners will use them as mulch because they break down quickly and help add nutrients to the soil. If you have a lot of citrus fruit peels, you can make a homemade repellent by boiling them in water for 30 minutes. Strain the mixture and add it to a spray bottle.

Again, be sure not to overapply this solution and always test it on a small area first.

When it comes to mothballs, you’ll need to place them around the perimeter of your garden or yard, making sure they’re out of reach of children and pets. Be sure to carefully read the mothballs’ labels, as some products may be toxic if ingested.

What Smell Do Dogs Love to Pee On

Dogs love to pee on things with a strong scent. So, what smells do dogs love to pee on? Anything with a strong odor, such as trash, other animals’ urine, or even certain plants.

Why is this the case, though? It’s likely because it helps them mark their territory and leave their unique smell behind. Peeing on items with a strong scent also allows dogs to communicate with other animals through pheromones.

Frequently Asked Questions

What taste do dogs hate?

If you’re looking to make your pup scrunch up its nose in disgust, then oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are probably your best bet. Dogs dislike the sour taste of these fruits and will frequently turn their heads away after taking a bite.

Do dogs hate the taste of vinegar?

Yes, dogs hate the taste of vinegar. It’s sour, acidic, and it’s not good for their overall health.

Key Takeaways

So, what smell do dogs hate?

According to the experts, citrus, mothballs, alcohol, and vinegar are some of the few scents that don’t appeal to your dog’s nostrils. If you want to keep your dog away from certain areas of your home or yard—or just make sure he doesn’t pee on your new rug—try using one of these smells as a deterrent.


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